User login

AC Syndicate - No Upgrades/No Leveling [Full Commentated Playthrough]

14 replies [Last post]
DarkAlphabetZoup's picture
DarkAlphabetZoup
Offline
Citizen
male
Toronto, Canada
Joined: 12/30/2009

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oje4ogyPlis

Some time ago I posted a playthrough of myself beating all of Assassin's Creed Unity without upgrading anything or leveling up at all. I would only really advise watching that one if you really want to, because the microphone quality isn't as great as my newer videos. Actually, the run I'm about to post right now doesn't have fantastic mic quality until Episode 5, when I started taking what I was doing much more seriously and invested a decent amount of money into getting a Blue Yeti microphone. Despite that, it's something a few people here were quite interested in. I don't know if this will still be the case by now, because it took me a while. I actually halted production on this playthrough until I bought a good microphone once I recorded Episode 4, because I was just not happy with how my vocal quality sounded, and I was not willing to produce more commentary without a decent microphone. Suffice it to say that I got one, and here's the run.

[Front-paged. -JoeyFogey]

***

Rules:
No Cutscenes (or, very rarely any cutscenes),
No Upgrades or Leveling (except when Required/Forced)
No Weapon/Armor Purchases
Main Missions Only
Buying Ammo (Bullets, Knives, Medicine, etc.) is allowed.
Stealth always ATTEMPTED.

***

The easiest part of this run was definitely any areas where I could use Stealth or isolate enemies for an easy Whistle takedown. Smoke Bombs were just as useful as in Unity, and were an integral part of what helped make this happen. Being able to eliminate three/four-person groups with a Smoke Bomb-into-Assassinates combo was incredibly strong. The player does get less Smoke Bombs in Syndicate than they get in Unity, but the game makes up for it by letting the Assassin whistle, kidnap/take hostage, and move/throw bodies for distractions. Hallucinogenic Darts helped on a number of occasions, from the early-to-midgame, but as I could not upgrade them, higher level enemies in the late-game started being Immune to them, and they fell off in usefulness. In addition to these tools, getting out of combat is much easier in Syndicate, as most of the time the player can Rope Launch up to the top of a tall building and then Rope Launch across several other gaps in order to lose their pursuers. This is also added on top of the player being able to Bullet-Dodge in Syndicate, while in Unity the player has no options for avoiding bullet damage if they're running away from enemies rather than fighting them. The subtle mechanical differences above made this a less frustrating experience than Unity on a few occasions, but since I've played both of these games a lot by now, I wouldn't call any one of them better or worse than the other. To me they're pretty similar.

The hardest part of this run was any point at which I was forced into combat. Indeed, one of the things that I was forced to learn was how Syndicate's combat system actually works, and the basic thing that was causing me a lot of trouble before was, I couldn't understand why enemies would suddenly, randomly and without logic or reason "retaliate" against me, and usually those attacks were quite damaging and would kill me in one or two hits. I eventually figured out, with the help of an amazing FebUSAlf video, that the place those retaliation attacks occur in is anywhere in a player's combo-chain that "knocks back" or "knocks away" the enemy, and that you're meant to press the Counter button basically as a Read instead of a Reaction. For those of you who don't play fighting games, essentially what I mean is, you press the Counter button as soon as your Assassin is done doing the "knockback" animation on the enemy, and you should Counter the Retaliation with like 99% consistency, it's really damn great.

I know that below, I've marked three of my videos with "borough conquest/filler-ish" but in all honesty, those were the absolute toughest parts of this run. Trying to beat the Gang War with an active/living enemy Gang Leader was so hard/improbable that I was ready to sacrifice this run's integrity and be like, "Yeah, I'll just upgrade only Evie, just so I can get past this and keep going." I was ready to do that, I even ask my viewers in the "A Rogue Falls" video what I should do. No one answered me but I eventually decided to just liberate another District and remembered that if I Assassinate the enemy Gang Leader while they're running away during their little cameo moment, I can basically make their respective Gang War much easier to beat. This is what actually saved this playthrough. Without this strategy, it would have been impossible to beat this game without leveling up.

What was especially tense was the fact that, since there's a finite number of boroughs to liberate, and since the enemy Gang Leader only shows up ONCE per borough, that meant I had a finite number of "attempts" to successfully assassinate two enemy Gang Leaders. If I failed all five or six times (I forget), then this playthrough would've been destroyed and become impossible. Fortunately, that didn't happen, and you can definitely hear the excitement in my voice that I actually got through it.

I thought Starrick would be a tougher fight than he was, but since I'm only fighting against a single enemy, it's not too bad, using the same rules that the rest of Syndicate's combat follows.

All in all, it was quite intense, trying to do this. Thank you and shout-outs to everyone here and elsewhere, who inspired and continue to inspire me to play games more consciously of the possibilities inside them.

***

Full Playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL36oulzyfYiML_weu5dNGzXJ7LVPjerqw

Individual Videos:
#1 - The Frye Twins (Eps 1-4 have poor mic quality) - 21:52
#2 - Welcome to London (Eps 1-4 have poor mic quality) - 33:52
#3 - Pirates and Professors (Eps 1-4 have poor mic quality - 41:44
#4 - Doctor, Nurse, Deceiver (Eps 1-4 have poor mic quality) - 55:20
#5 - The Banker and the Beauty - 41:16
#6 - Evie is Stealth-Girl - 45:38
#7 - Jacob is Punch-Boy - 34:07
#8 - A Rogue Falls... (borough conquest/filler-ish) - 44:39
#9 - ...To Rise Again (borough conquest/filler-ish) - 34:02
#10 - An Assassin Warlord (borough conquest/filler-ish) - 39:52
#11 - Maxwell Roth - 57:49
#12 (Final) - The Shroud - 55:29

***

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oje4ogyPlis

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5teOeneTok

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48QFmQlydTQ

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFyimLiEsLA

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2k1NSv7CJo

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VDNbkseKzg

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KPmLf30rTY

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkWBoTE7lAE

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT13SuT8C4s

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDRqyk4Y7eo

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RTGNa_aQvs

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCQi8vr7gdI

Double McStab with Cheese's picture
Double McStab w...
Offline
Citizen
male
San Diego, CA
Joined: 03/29/2012

Awesome!

Would you be so kind as to put the playtime of each video in this post so I don't have to click on them all at work to figure it out? Thanks!

(psst. front page)

"Victorian values meant brutalizing people who were often poor." - Charles Palliser

DarkAlphabetZoup's picture
DarkAlphabetZoup
Offline
Citizen
male
Toronto, Canada
Joined: 12/30/2009
Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
Awesome!

Would you be so kind as to put the playtime of each video in this post so I don't have to click on them all at work to figure it out? Thanks!

(psst. front page)

Mhm! I wasn't sure what you meant, but what I did was put the length of each video in Minutes:Seconds to the right of each of their titles in the little "table of contents" above the actual embedded videos. If you wanted me to do something else and I misinterpreted, let me know and I'll fix it.

Double McStab with Cheese's picture
Double McStab w...
Offline
Citizen
male
San Diego, CA
Joined: 03/29/2012
DarkAlphabetZoup wrote:
Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
Awesome!

Would you be so kind as to put the playtime of each video in this post so I don't have to click on them all at work to figure it out? Thanks!

(psst. front page)

Mhm! I wasn't sure what you meant, but what I did was put the length of each video in Minutes:Seconds to the right of each of their titles in the little "table of contents" above the actual embedded videos. If you wanted me to do something else and I misinterpreted, let me know and I'll fix it.

exactly what I was hoping for. thanks man!

pretty fast playthrough considering no overpowered upgrades!

"Victorian values meant brutalizing people who were often poor." - Charles Palliser

DarkAlphabetZoup's picture
DarkAlphabetZoup
Offline
Citizen
male
Toronto, Canada
Joined: 12/30/2009

What probably contributes to the relatively low playtime is that I basically put in nothing but raw gameplay, and I skip/edit out a lot of meaningless "walking/driving/rope-launching to a location 500 meters away." I basically only kept in what I assumed were the "fun" parts.

Double McStab with Cheese's picture
Double McStab w...
Offline
Citizen
male
San Diego, CA
Joined: 03/29/2012

ahh. yes. The skipping things. Most playthroughs I've watched are uncut "Let's Play" style. Like The Wierdest builds of Fallout 4 characters/playthroughs.

"Victorian values meant brutalizing people who were often poor." - Charles Palliser

JoeyFogey's picture
JoeyFogey
Offline
Administrator
male
Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 02/16/2010

The THB shout out at the end was nice. Wink

NEW Youtube channel!
- Strudel Stream

PSN: JoeyFogey

Twitch Livestream channel: http://www.twitch.tv/joeyfogey

Instagram: joeyfogey

DarkAlphabetZoup's picture
DarkAlphabetZoup
Offline
Citizen
male
Toronto, Canada
Joined: 12/30/2009

Joey, you watched the whole thing?! You absolute madman you, haha! Actually even if you just watched the final video, I'm happy you brought that up, cus I wondered who would be the first to say something about it Tongue

EctorTutu's picture
EctorTutu
Offline
Citizen
male
Joined: 10/08/2015

Gang Leaders are easy to kill outside of Gang War if certain Gang Activity completed last .
Also easiest districts to free are Thames and Lambeth - and their Gang Wars are two lowest level ones - so they are easiest as well.
So although you liberated Lambeth and did correct last Gang activity to get fast kill on Gang Leader you made things harder than they should be by liberating other district than Thames.

DarkAlphabetZoup's picture
DarkAlphabetZoup
Offline
Citizen
male
Toronto, Canada
Joined: 12/30/2009

Good to know! I didn't have that knowledge while playing, so I just did what seemed to make sense to me, which was to only do districts on the right side of the map. Turns out that it wasn't optimal, and if I would play this again and treat it as an actual speedrun category and try to go fast (Syndicate No Upgrades), I would do it that way.

JoeyFogey's picture
JoeyFogey
Offline
Administrator
male
Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 02/16/2010
DarkAlphabetZoup wrote:
Joey, you watched the whole thing?! You absolute madman you, haha! Actually even if you just watched the final video, I'm happy you brought that up, cus I wondered who would be the first to say something about it Tongue

I wish I had time to watch all of it! Every once in a while, I'd skim through the videos after seeing that they were uploaded. I'd get to the memorable points (certain missions to see what you do or gameplay scenarios to see what you say about them). But yeah, I assumed you'd have a nice ending to a playthrough like this, so I stuck around for the last bit. I made time, dammit!

NEW Youtube channel!
- Strudel Stream

PSN: JoeyFogey

Twitch Livestream channel: http://www.twitch.tv/joeyfogey

Instagram: joeyfogey

Double McStab with Cheese's picture
Double McStab w...
Offline
Citizen
male
San Diego, CA
Joined: 03/29/2012

Joey's a madman. Maybe not for this. But he's a madman.

"Victorian values meant brutalizing people who were often poor." - Charles Palliser

JoeyFogey's picture
JoeyFogey
Offline
Administrator
male
Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 02/16/2010
Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
Joey's a madman. Maybe not for this. But he's a madman.

Damn straight.

NEW Youtube channel!
- Strudel Stream

PSN: JoeyFogey

Twitch Livestream channel: http://www.twitch.tv/joeyfogey

Instagram: joeyfogey

DarkAlphabetZoup's picture
DarkAlphabetZoup
Offline
Citizen
male
Toronto, Canada
Joined: 12/30/2009

That's a decent way to go through them, yeah. Check out the parts that you remembered the most from your own playthrough and look at how I did it, or check out parts that you assume would be super hard without any Upgrades. Can pretty much verify that Joey's a madman, haha. The Joe-ker.

JoeyFogey's picture
JoeyFogey
Offline
Administrator
male
Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 02/16/2010
DarkAlphabetZoup wrote:
The Joe-ker.

*cue awkward Jared Leto Joker laugh*

NEW Youtube channel!
- Strudel Stream

PSN: JoeyFogey

Twitch Livestream channel: http://www.twitch.tv/joeyfogey

Instagram: joeyfogey